Watson, Vunipola return for England

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:46
Large billy vunipola england looks 800

CALCUTTA CUP TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Eddie Jones has made three changes to his side for England's Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

In the back line Jonathan Joseph (Bath) is reinstated at outside centre, Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) is named on the right wing and Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) starts at scrumhalf.

Anthony Watson (Bath) and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) return to an England match-day 23 for the first time in this year's Championship having both returned from injury.

They are joined by Danny Care (Harlequins) and Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors) in the only other changes to the bench.

Saturday's match will see 26-year old loosehead prop Joe Marler (Harlequins) win his 50th cap for England having made his debut against South Africa at Kings Park Stadium in Durban in 2012.

To mark the milestone Marler will lead the team out of the tunnel for England's 124th Calcutta Cup game.

"Our preparation for Scotland has been very good," said England head coach Jones. "We had two excellent training runs in Oxford last week and followed that up this week.

"We're focused on ourselves; we want to give our fans a really good performance. We've worked hard in this Six Nations and feel like a good performance is just around the corner.

"This is the 124th Calcutta Cup and I feel humbled and honoured to be part of such an historic rugby occasion, it's the oldest international fixture and means a lot to both countries. We treasure the experience.

"I congratulate Joe Marler on his 50-cap milestone. I've coached a lot of good players and he is certainly one of the best. He is an honest and committed team man and a fine individual. To have him and Mako Vunipola available together to give us 80 minutes at loose-head is an enormous advantage."

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Anthony Watson.

Date: Saturday, March 11
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 16.00 (16.00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
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Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
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